Monthly Archives: December 2015

Self-Preservation And Self-Renunciation

Luke 9:24 Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Two opposite standards of life are revealed by the Lord: Saving and Losing; self-preservation and self-renunciation, the former ending in loss, while the latter issues in safety and recompense. What is the cross to which the Lord points His follower? Is it some burden? A difficult circumstance? Pain? No! Because for the world there are as many and as heavy burdens as for the child of God.

The cross has always some close connection with with death…To take up the cross is to be in such union with Christ that the power of His death through the Holy Spirit operates in us to the ;lacing of all that belongs to the old man in a position where it cannot dominate our spirits. As a natural consequence, out of that death the new life springs up, spending itself for Christ and in the cause of the gospel, bringing forth not gain for the human, but fruit for God. Gordon Watt, from Meditations In The Word, 1949

“Behind our life the Weaver stands
And works his wondrous will;
We leave it all in his wise hands,
And trust his perfect skill.
Should mystery enshroud his plan,
And our short sight be dim,
We will not try the whole to scan,
But leave each thread to Him.”—F. B. Meyer, Joseph

Matt. 11:28 Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light

He Is Precious

1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.

As all the rivers run into the sea, so all delights centre in our Beloved. The glances of His eyes outshine the sun: the beauties of His face are fairer than the choicest flowers: no fragrance is like the breath of His mouth. Gems of the mine, and pearls from the sea, are worthless things when measured by His preciousness. Peter tells us that Jesus is precious, but he did not and could not tell us how precious, nor could any of us compute the value of God’s unspeakable gift. Words cannot set forth the preciousness of the Lord Jesus to His people, nor fully tell how essential He is to their satisfaction and happiness. Believer, have you not found in the midst of plenty a sore famine if your Lord has been absent? The sun was shining, but Christ had hidden Himself, and all the world was black to you; or it was night, and since the bright and morning star was gone, no other star could yield you so much as a ray of light. What a howling wilderness is this world without our Lord! If once He hideth Himself from us, withered are the flowers of our garden; our pleasant fruits decay; the birds suspend their songs, and a tempest overturns our hopes. All earth’s candles cannot make daylight if the Sun of Righteousness be eclipsed. He is the soul of our soul, the light of our light, the life of our life. Dear reader, what wouldst thou do in the world without Him, when thou wakest up and lookest forward to the day’s battle? What wouldst thou do at night, when thou comest home jaded and weary, if there were no door of fellowship between thee and Christ? Blessed be His name, He will not suffer us to try our lot without Him, for Jesus never forsakes His own. Yet, let the thought of what life would be without Him enhance His preciousness. C. H. Spurgeon

TOZER EDITORIAL: WE FACE TOMORROW WITHOUT FEAR, 30 December 1950

With the passing of the year 1950 there ends one one of the most dramatic and exciting years in recent history.

It is altogether possible that the next few weeks may show that the beginning of the dreaded third World War occurred in 1950. Or if (as we devoutly hope) the worlds is able to avoid such a catastrophe for a few years more, we can look back upon the past year as one in which the world tottered dangerously upon a precipice and escaped destruction only by the patient love of God.

The new year that lies ahead of us is an uncharted and unknown sea. No ship has ever sailed this way before. The wisest of earth’s sons and daughters cannot tell us what we may encounter on this journey. Familiarity with the past may afford us a general idea of what we may expect, but just where the rocks lie hidden beneath the surface or when that “tempestuous wind called Euroclydon” may sweep down upon us suddenly, no one can say with certainty.

Conditions over the world are so grave that no one who thinks at all is able any longer to maintain a spirit of optimism. The world’s philosophers have long ago ceased to preach peace, except as a goal toward which the nations should frantically struggle even while they have but little hope of attaining it. The best brains of the world have gone into the production of tools with which to destroy the world. And if they do such things in the green tree, what shall they do in the dry?

When Pharaoh was faced with trouble, he sent for Joseph; Nebuchadnezzar in distress called upon Daniel. These enlightened men of God knew the score–they could predict the future and point the way to safety. They were wise with a wisdom not of this world and so were able to face the future with cheerfulness even when they knew how dark and troubled that future would be.

Today also there are a few men and women who can face the coming year without discouragement or terror. They are Christians. They are not smiling optimists who draw their comfort from a denial of the facts or base their hopes upon false expectations of peaceful intentions among nations. Rather, they are of all men the truest realists. They will have nothing to do with fantasy–they demand to know the facts, whether those facts are good or bad. They insist upon squaring their beliefs with the truth, and do not hesitate to face up to any truth wherever it is found.

Now more than at any other time in generations, the believer is in a position to go on the offensive. The world is lost on a wide sea, and the Christian alone knows the way to the desired haven. While things were going well, the world scorned him with his Bible and his hymns, but now they need him desperately, and they need that despised Bible, too. For in the Bible, and there only, is found the chart to tell us where we are on this rough and unknown ocean. The day when the Christian should meekly apologize is over–he can get the world’s attention not by trying to please, but by boldly declaring the truth of divine revelation. He can make himself heard not by compromise, but by taking the affirmative and sturdily declaring, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Whatever the world does in the years ahead, and whatever happens among mankind, true Christians have no cause for worry. They are safe forever by a covenant of blood and are dearer to God that the apple of His eye. No night can be dark enough to put out their light, no fire hot enough to burn them, no flood severe enough to drown them on their journey. The winds and waves are their friends and the stars in their courses fight for them. God is at their right hand, and they shall not be moved.

Let us then face tomorrow with praise and song; let us live in a state of perpetual worship. For are we not kept by the power of God “until the coming of a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”? And the “last time” may be nearer than we think.

TOZER EDITORIAL: WE FACE TOMORROW WITHOUT FEAR is from the Alliance Weekly 30 December 1950
WE FACE TOMORROW WITHOUT FEAR is also found in , Chapter 3 of This World: Playground or Battleground? Although it is an edited version of the above editorial.

John Bryom, Christians, Awake!

Christians, awake! salute the happy morn
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born
Rise to adore the mystery of love
Which class of angels chanted from above
With them the joyful tidings first begun
Of God incarnate and the Virgin’s Son

Then to the watchful shepherds it was told
Who heard the angelic herald’s voice: “Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Saviour’s birth
To you and all the nations upon earth
This day hath God fulfilled His promised word;
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”

He spake, and straightaway the celestial choir
In hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire
The praises of a class love they sang
And heaven’s whole orb with alleluias rang
God’s highest glory was their anthem still
Peace upon earth and unto men goodwill

To Bethlehem straight the shepherds ran
To see the wonder God had wrought for man
And found, with Joseph and the blessed Maid
Her Son, the Saviour, in a manger laid
Amazed, the wondrous story they proclaim
The earliest heralds of the Saviour’s name

Let us, like these good shepherds, them employ
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy
Trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss
From His poor manger to His bitter cross
Treading His steps, assisted by His grace
Till man’s first heavenly state again takes place

Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among
To sing, a glad triumphal song
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing
Of angels and of angel-men the King

John Bryom, Christians, Awake!

Shepherds Visit Jesus

Luke 2:8-20

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace:
Good will henceforth from heaven to men,
Begin and never cease!
Nahum Tate

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

“The immense step from the Babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for His own people – that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce His return, when we shall always be with Him.” Alan Redpath

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Charles Wesley

Psalm 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased in flesh with us to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that we no more shall die,
Born to raise us from the earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn king.
Charles Wesley

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing was originally written as “Hark! how all the welkin (clouds/sky/heavens) rings / Glory to the King of Kings” but was changed by George Whitefield.

A Contemplation Of The Divinity

Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel…

“Great God, how infinite art thou,
What worthless worms are we!”

Isaiah 41:14 Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, said the LORD, and your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

A Contemplation Of The Divinity is from Spurgeon’s sermon “The Immutability Of God”.

Why The Term “The Deeper Life”?

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.I have been

Why The Term “The Deeper Life”? “The deeper life must be understood to mean a life in the Spirit far in advance of the average and nearer to the New Testament norm. I do not know that the term is the best that could be chosen, but for want of a better one we shall continue to employ it. There are many scriptural phrases that embody the meaning we are attempting to convey, but these have been interpreted downward and equated with the spiritual mediocrity now current. The consequence is that when they are used by the average Bible teacher today, they do not mean what they meant when they were first used by the inspired writers. This is the penalty we pay for making the Word of God conform to our experience instead of bringing our experience up to the Word of God. When high scriptural terms are used to describe low spiritual living, then other and more definitive terms are needed. Only by using terms previously agreed upon and understood can there be true communication between teacher and learner. Hence this definition of the deeper life.” A. W. Tozer

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou guardian of my soul.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.